Army names first openly lesbian general

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, August 13, 2012 11:54 EDT
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A U.S. soldier salutes. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
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Army officer Tammy S. Smith, 49, became the first openly lesbian military general in U.S. history on Sunday after the Army promoted her to the rank of Brigadier General.

Smith co-founded the LGBT advocacy group Military Partners and Families Coalition, and openly acknowledged her sexual orientation on Sunday, The New York Times noted, by having her wife, Tracey Hepner, pin her first star to her uniform.

It took an act of Congress for the military to drop its discriminatory anti-gay policies, but it finally did in 2011, 18 years after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was implemented. More than 14,000 soldiers were expelled from the service due to their sexual orientation during that time.

Despite the repeal of “Don’t Ask,” same sex partners of active duty soldiers still do not enjoy the same benefits as heterosexual couples.

Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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